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Oct. 25-29 trip report

Topeka, Ks
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Oct. 25-29 trip report

My husband and I visited Napa and Sonoma last week and had a truly wonderful time. The weather was perfect, the colors were beautiful and the wine superb.

We arrived Sunday and after renting our car we enjoyed a lovely drive to American Canyon to locate our hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. Got a great deal with them thru Travelocity we just couldn't pass up. Besides, we were there for the wine, not the hotel. Regardless, we found it very nice and the staff accomodating and friendly. Would recommend this hotel.

After several recomendations we stopped at Oxbow Market in Napa and shared a lovely appetizer called "The Works" Great wine/cheese/anti pasto platter. Plenty of food for two. Enjoyed a glass of syrah and cab.

I'm just going to list the wineries we visited. We did not do tastings at all of them. We enjoyed each of them but there were few that really stood out as some of our favorites. I'll elaborate more on those.

Also, my husband and I are by no means wine experts. We enjoy wine and tend to buy what tastes good to us whether is is $5 or $75. Please bear that in mind when reading this.

We visited:

Black Stallion

Clos Du Val-loved the Pinot Noir, bought a bottle.

Darioush-impressive structure

Stags Leap- Loved all the wines, even tried the Cask 23.

Mondavi-really pretty winery, and good wines. My husband like the naked lady statue inthe courtyard. ; )

We had dinner at Rutherford Grill. AMAZING FOOD! Liked the no-corkage fee. Shared our bottle from Clos Du Val.

On Monday we reserved a tasting at Robert Hunter Winery. Our reasonfor this is because my husband and I share the same names as Robert and his wife Ann. Although my Robert goes by Bob and I spell mine Anne. Last name is the same. We thought this was neat so we decided to go. This was the highlight of trip. Kurt was our wine expert and was so very friendly. He told us the history of the property and the beautiful gardens that were designed by Robert's friend Thomas Church. Amazing views. It was so nice when Robert and Ann came out to enjoy the tasting with us. He's 87 and she's 83. Such friendly gracious people. Made us feel so welcome and relaxed. Our main reson for going was because of the novelty of sharing the same names and I was a bit concerned that the wine would be bad. I WAS WRONG! Every wine was fabulous! We purchased 8 bottles to be shipped home. 1 of the '02 Pinot Noir, 2 of the '03 Pinot Noir, 2 of the '05 Cab, 1 of the '05 Pinot and 2 of the '07 Chardonnay. THey were all fabulous. I highly recommend visiting here. Great intimate tasting, delicious wine and beautiful environment. .

Next was:

Little Winery-cool place, very friendly, tasted grapes off the vine.

B.R. Cohn


Chateau St. Jean


Twomey-good Merlot

Castello de Amarosa-fun castle tour

Clos Pegas-free tour and very neat art collection

Berringer-most impressive looking winery, good tasting too.

Went to Go Fish for dinner. Fantastic food. Husband had the halibut and I had the black sole. Very, very good!

Wednesday Went to Peju-great tasting experience with Scott. bot two bottles.

Next was

Sterling-tram ride was fun and I liked the different tasting stations set up through out. Good view of Castello De Amarosa.

After this we drove over to Korbel, stopping briefly at the petrified forest just to say we were there.

Korbel, was fun. Free tasting and a great deli. Had a nice lunch on the deck.

Next we drove to the Redwood Forest. OH MY!! How beautiful it is there. Be sure to take the windy mountain road up for the view up top. Just be careful though!

After this we drove to the coast and saw the Pacific. Ive always love the ocean and this was no disappointment! Beautiful cliffs and water! Breath taking!

Drove to Bodega Bay for dinner at the Tides. Saw a sea lion while eating dinner. Since we're short on sea lions here in Kansas, we thought it was pretty cool. Our waitress wasn't as impressed as we were. Ha!

Thursday was our last day:

Stopped at

Opus One



Sequoia Grove

St. Supery



Had a picnic lunch at V. Sattui. Great deli and great wine. Birds ate crackers out of my hand. Loved the cheeses.

Next was Markham. Really neat photography and very friendly staff.

Freemont Abbey


Berringer again for more pictures.

I'd have to say that my top ten would be

1. Robert Hunter

2. Provenance

3. Sequoia Grove

4. Markham

5. Korbel

6. Clos Du Val

7. Stags Leap


9. Berringer

10. Peju

We came home with 2 cases of wine, more knowledge about wine, and very, very special memories.

Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions and great advice. Would love to visit again!

KS Divamom

Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
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1. Re: Oct. 25-29 trip report


Thanks for the excellent trip report! We are going in 4 weeks and can't wait. Glad to see you covered just about every area. We are planning to do that also, and have been concerned about seeing many recommend to concentrate on one particular area. Robert Hunter sounds interesting. It wasn't originally on our list, but the concierge at our hotel highly recommended it. Not sure if we can squeeze 1 more in.

How did you end up shipping your wine back, just curious since we will have to do so also.

Topeka, Ks
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2. Re: Oct. 25-29 trip report

We shipped our more expensive wines with buffalo's shipping post 707-226-7942 because we could purchase the insurance. We also bought a shipping crate from them for $12.50 (case sized) and checked that on the plane. Made the flight just fine. Haven't rec'd the other yet.

Robert Hunter tasting took about 2-1/2 hours but was so very worth it. Call as reserve as soon as you know. $25 per person. THey do not distribute their wine. It can only be purchased there. So worth it! Be sure to ask for Kurt.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Oct. 25-29 trip report

Lovely report and impressive list of wineries you visited.

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4. Re: Oct. 25-29 trip report

Wow - that is a long list of wineries - but then you said you didn't taste at all of them - I bet you have lots of pictures ")

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5. Re: Oct. 25-29 trip report

Wow, it sounds like you had a great time! I have Go Fish on our list for a meal when we visit the wine country this Spring. Thank you so much for the trip report! :)

Topeka, Ks
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6. Re: Oct. 25-29 trip report

My husband is a bit of a camera bug. 535 pictures in 5 days. So much beautiful scenery, we wanted to take it all in!

7. Re: Oct. 25-29 trip report

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